By a Newsnet reporter
Hibernian’s hopes of ending their 110 year Scottish cup drought ended today after Hearts emerged clear winners in a one sided final at Hampden.
The final score of 5-1 was a fair reflection on a game that was dominated by the Gorgie outfit with disheartened Hibs supporters leaving the ground well before the final whistle.
Hibs flattered to deceive when they looked to have dragged themselves back into the game with a goal late in the first half that saw them enter the tunnel 2-1 down.
However a penalty kick by Danny Grainger in the first minute of the second half saw Hearts stretch their lead again – the sending off of Kujabi who conceded the penalty rubbed salt in the wounds.
The penalty decision looked to have been harsh as the defender appeared to have committed the offence outside the box. However the yellow card was justified and it was a ten man Hibs who played out the remainder of the final.
It was all but over as a contest two minutes later when Ryan McGowan scored Hearts fourth, heading home from barely one yard out. From that moment on Hearts name was on the cup and it was damage limitation for Pat Fenlon’s Hibs outfit.
When Skacel made it five on the 75th minute the cup final was looking to be historic for all the wrong reasons as far as Hibs fans were concerned.
It was Hearts who looked the better team from the start as an early goal settled Paulo Sergio’s men. It was unlucky 13 for Hibs, when on the 13th minute mark a goalmouth scramble saw the ball break to Darren Barr who slotted over the Hibs keeper to open the scoring.
As Hibs struggled to get anything going Hearts made it two in 26 minutes with a well worked move that ended with a Rudi Skacel left foot shot deflecting over the outstretched arm of the Hibs goalkeeper.
At that point Hibs looked down and out and only a goal line clearance from McPake prevented a Hearts third. However, against the run of play Hibs struck back with James McPake tapping in from inside the six yard box after Gary O’Connor had deflected the ball into his path.
Any thoughts that Hibs were back in the game ended abruptly with the penalty kick and ordering off within a minute of the second half.
A capacity crowd had entered Hampden and the atmosphere was electric with both sets of fans urging their team on. First Minister Alex Salmond was present as was Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
This was the first meeting between the two teams in a Scottish Cup final for over 100 years and Hibs will be disappointed that they put up such a poor show.
However let’s take nothing away from Hearts, who even when it was eleven against eleven looked the more composed side.
The win sees Paulo Sergio’s men qualify for Europe next season and is a welcome consolation after Hearts finished a disappointing fifth in the Premier league.
Hibs will be hoping that is another hundred years before they go through an experience like this again.